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Full text of "NightRider"

*34

And cosmos over there." She gestured toward the open
space beyond which stood the weathered, soft-toned brick
wall of the house. "And marigolds, they'll be nice against
the house. And around that old stump there "~she pointed
to a thick stump, black with rot, which stood in the middle
of a patch of pale, newly springing grass—" there is a good
place for pansies. The ground ought to be rich there." She
took a step toward the old stump, and quickly knelt and dug
her fingers into the soft, crumbly earth. Then, with her face
lighted by pleasure, she looked upward, over her shoulder,
at him.

She rose and came back to him, holding her stained hands
toward him and still smiling. They began to move toward
the house. "But I'll need somebody to help me," she was
saying, " a man to spade up and all. You'll let a man come

up soon, won't you, Perse?   The next day or two, before------"

He stopped still in the middle of the walk, and looked her
in the face.   "No," he answered, and heard his own words
coming with that impersonal and measured decision, "you
know every hand on the place is busy right now.   It's a rush
season, and I can't spare one.   Not one.   You've lived on a
farm all your life, you ought to know that much."    He
watched the expression of her face change from pleasure to
surprise, then from pain to bewilderment; and then he con-
tinued:  "Besides, you don't really want to have a garden.
After a few weeks you never look at it.   I've noticed that, as
long as Fve known you.  It's just something you do, and then
you don't even take the trouble to direct somebody about
keeping it in condition in the summer.   Why do you want to
start a garden?   It's very unreasonable, you know, under the
circumstances.   You being the way you are.   About things."
She had taken a step away from him, but with her face
still toward him.   She turned, very suddenly, and began to
walk away, down the path.   Impersonally, he noticed the
light falling palely over her and the way her shoulders moved
and hunched together a little.   She was tryine to suppress a
sob, he knew.                                                   rr